The latest campaign finance disclosures were released Friday, May 27 by the District 1 candidates and Political Action Committees (PACs) on their behalf. The statements cover the period between April 24 and May 21, 2016.
During this Period, the top fundraising candidate Ray Ellis was almost caught up by his opponent Barbara Bry, $36,770 to $32,508.05. However, Ellis almost doubles Bry in the amount raised in the calendar year, $212,703.33 to $115,731.05.
Bry personally contributed to her campaign $4,000 this past period, totaling $35,610 in the election.
PACs lack the regulation constraints of a candidate’s own campaign fundraising, such as donation limits. PACs can’t contribute to a candidate’s campaign, or even have conversations with the candidate they benefit, but they can spend on their behalf. Both Bry and Ellis have PACs raising money for them, and spending it on polls, mailers, advertisement and campaign signs.
The Lincoln Club, a pro-business political action group in San Diego created the PAC “Neighborhoods. Not Stadiums. A Political Action Committee in Support of Ray Ellis for Council 2016.” Also, it donated the $100,000 that forms the total reported contributions of the group. Most of the expenses, $61,384, reflect online advertising and campaign literature sent to voters’ homes.
The “Coastal Communities for a Fair Economy supporting Ray Ellis for Council 2016 sponsored by and with major funding from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee and the Lincoln Club” PAC raised $79,000 in this period and $212,500 in the calendar year.
The San Diego Chamber of Commerce is the biggest contributor to this PAC with $55,500 given in the calendar year, but others such as the Building Industry Association of San Diego ($30,000), the Infrastructure PAC of the Associated General Contractors ($20,000), the San Diego Restaurant and Beverage PAC ($30,000), and The Lincoln Club have given to benefit Ellis’ chances on June 7.
The “Coastal Communities…” PAC reports spending $62,387 in this period and double that amount in the calendar year. Their current cash balance was set at $100,908.
The “Committee to Support Prop I, Barbara Bry, and Justin DeCesare Sponsored by Alliance San Diego Mobilization Fund” PAC raised most of its funds in the last period, a total of $105,000. It reports spending $12,560 among both candidates. The contributors of this PAC are California trade unions. For instance, the Alliance San Diego Mobilization Fund San Diego contributed $ 28,872, the CA Works: Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins Ballot Measure Committee $25,000, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569 Candidate PAC $25,000.
The least spending PAC of this election was “Citizens for Good Government Supporting Barbara Bry for City Council 2016,” which submitted a report for the April 24-May 3 period. In the whole calendar year, the PAC raised $1,568.45 from a single donor (San Diego Forward), and spent most of those funds in Deane & Company, a political advisory company based in Sacramento.
Bruce Lightner has raised a total of $1,500 in his campaign, and all of it in two loans to himself from his company Lightner Engineering. He has spent $713.30 mostly on voter lists.
The remaining two candidates, Kyle Heiskala and Louis Rodolico don’t report any fundraising activities or expenditures.
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